I hate calling politicians. I’d much rather go for a walk with them and
rant and rave lecture them ask them what the hell they were thinking explain my point of view–and, of course, politely listen to theirs.
But today I called a whole bunch of them about DACA. [That’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an Obama-era act which has granted permission to stay and work to about 800,000 immigrants brought to the U.S. originally by their parents.]
DACA’s the kind of act that makes me feel proud to be an American. Stay, you fine, hardworking kids, you Dreamers–stay and prosper! (And while you’re at it, teach some of our native-born kids what it means to be an American.)
And DACA being under threat makes my stomach turn heavy and cold. This is what last year’s election boded. Now it’s happening. Or it might.
Hence the phone calls. The president is on the fence so far. As the New York Times explains,
Since attacking DACA on the campaign trail, President Trump has pledged to keep the program alive, calling recipients, also known as Dreamers, “absolutely incredible kids” who deserve compassion. But in recent days, key players in his administration have advised Mr. Trump to wind down the program, and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has informed him he considers it unconstitutional and cannot defend it in court, according to people familiar with the discussions who insisted on anonymity to describe private deliberations. While the White House has declined to comment on the fate of DACA, several officials and people briefed on the discussions now say the president is on the brink of ending it, although they note that Mr. Trump often changes his mind.
Mr. Trump has been pondering — and publicly agonizing over — what to do about the program since he took office. But discussions about it inside the White House took on new urgency after a group of conservative state attorneys general threatened to sue the Trump administration in federal court unless it begins to dismantle the program by Sept. 5.
Maybe I’m naive. But I see a slim bit of hope here. If you do too, here are some people to call to register your opinion:
White House Comment Line: 202-456-6213
Jeff Sessions, U.S. Dept. of Justice Comment Line: 202-353-1555
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan: (213) 335-2244
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (855) 336-0788 (Note: these last two numbers will begin with a brief message about the threat to DACA–very useful info)
And if you prefer to talk to (and thank) someone standing up for immigrants, Washington’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson is leading a coalition of 15 other attorneys general to support the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) against a separate legal challenge. Is your state’s AG on this list? Call Bob’s office to find out: (360) 753-6200.
You know what? I still hate calling politicians. But I feel better knowing that maybe a few of you guys are now joining me.